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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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SHEINE OP GOKABNESVAE.                                           IBB
turn to the right leads into the city by the Brinda-ban gate, under the Ambarisha
hill, and past the ShahgaBJ sarae, which has a once handsome, but now sadly
ruinous, stone front. In the Muhammadan burial-ground, on the opposite side
of the street^ is a fine large stone Chhatfcri^ similar to the one near the Idgah at
Maha-ban, which commemorates AH Khan, the local Governor of that town. It
is probably of the reign of Akbar? and is said to cover the ashes of a certain
Khwaja. Nearer the roadside is an unfinished square stone building with very
elegant tracery, which is said to have been commenced as the monument
of some grandee of Darthanga. The handsome bridge which here crosses the
natural water-course known as the Barasvati Sacgam, or f confluence of the
Sarasvati,' was built by Seth Lakhmi Chand in 1849.
To the right of it is a temple of Mahadeva, which forms a very conspicuous
object It was built in the year 1850 by Ajtidhya Frasad of Lucknow, and
the court-yard is in the debased style of architecture for which that city is no-
torious. Close by is a walled garden with another temple to the same divinity
and a miich frequented stone ghat on the river-bank, all constructed at the cost
of Sri Gop41j the head of the money-changers in the city, who is now represent-
ed by his son Badh& Krishan. Bound the garden wall on the inner side are
rooms for the accommodation of pilgrims, the arches being filled in with doors
and panels of reticulated tracery, in wood. A daily distribution of grain is here
made to the poor. The adjoining till is called Kailas, and on its slope is the
shrine of Gokaraesvar, who is represented as a giant seated figure, with enormous
eyes and long hair and beard -and moustaches. In one hand is what appears to
be a wine cup, in the other some flowers or grapes. The stone is much worn.
The figure is certainly of great antiquity and might have been originally intend-
ed to represent some Indo-Scythian king. In a niche in the wall are two small
statues, about If foot high, "called by the Branmans Sati and ParvatL They
really are both well executed and early figures of Buddha, seated and preaching.
One has lost the right hand. la the same set of buildings as the tomb of Gauta-
ma BIshL Now, Gokama is the name of a place near the Malabar coast where
Bhagirath practised austerities before he brought down the Ganges from
heaven, and Gotama (not Gantama) is the author of some of the hymns in*
the Big Yeda ; so that both names might be connected with Hinduism ; but
both are also Buddhist, and this fact, combined with the existence of tuimis-
takeably Buddhist sculptures on the spot, may be taken as proof that this is
one of the old Buddhist sites. Gautama, it need scarcely "be said, is one of the
commonest names of Buddha himself, and Gokamesvar is one of the eight great
Yita-ragaSj or passionless deified saints.